How to Start a Coffee Shop
Starting any eatery is a complex and risky business. Fortunately for my readers, I have broken down the process into simple steps which will improve your understanding of the whole process.
- Do your Research: Research is the fundamental step of the entire process. The important factors you need to pay attention to include whether there is a need for a coffee shop in the area that you have in mind, If you will be able to compete with the existing food chains and independent coffee shops, and whether or not you will be able to afford to own a commercial business in that specific area.
- Choose a concept: An attractive theme/concept always gives a competitive edge to your business. Your cafe’s concept will be based on a few important factors which include target customers, the amount they are willing to pay, food or no food, sit-in or takeaway.
- Coffee Beans Source: To provide your customers with a great coffee, you need to find a coffee roaster. When finalizing a coffee bean roaster for your business, make sure to check the different types of beans (very high-quality beans can be very expensive which means your coffee will be very expensive too. That might just scare off your customers) and flavors. Also, if you are able to find yourself a coffee bean roaster in your area, that is always a plus.
- Cafe’s Business Plan: An efficient business plan provides a foundation for a successful business. It helps in finalizing the cafe’s concept, planing ownership structure, plan finances, and creating a menu.
- Startup Loans: Opening and running an eatery (until it can support itself) can be costly. Before you start a food business, you need to make sure you have enough funds to run the cafe before it becomes profitable ( that takes about 6-12 months) and is able to support itself. The opening cost of a business depends on a few factors, most significant out of which is the location where you plan to open a cafe.
- Commercial Space: A right commercial space ensures the continuous and steady inflow of customers, which eventually leads to a profitable business. When deciding a commercial space, not only pay attention to the location but also space. If it has enough space and all the basic facilities such as gas, drain, etc.
- Permits and Licenses: Before you start selling your products, you need a few permits and licenses. The requirement varies from city to city. Hence, make sure you have obtained all the required licenses depending on your city/state.
- Layout: Designing a front and back house areas is very important to make your cafe look presentable. The front of house area should be designed according to the kind of atmosphere you want to offer your customers. Whereas, back-of-the-house is crucial for efficiency and flow of orders.
- Coffee Shop Equipment: Coffee equipment is an absolute necessity for running a coffee shop. Some of them are optional but others such as coffee brewers, espresso machine. Coffee grinder etc is required for the functioning of the shop.
- Hire and train your staff: Be selective when it comes to hiring your staff. Excellent customer service is necessary for the success of your business. You can either choose trained staff or you can train fresh comers according to your requirements.
- Open your coffee shop: Before opening your coffee shop, be sure to advertise your coffee shop on various platforms and especially social media. Offer opening deals and discounts to attract a larger number of customers.